Israel Rejects U.N. Approval of Report Accusing Jewish State of War Crimes
November 6, 2009 - 5:45 AMIsrael said on Friday that a U.N. General Assembly decision to endorse a report accusing the Jewish state of war crimes lacked the support of the world's "moral majority."
In a vote Thursday, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an Arab-drafted resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians to conduct "credible" investigations into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the fighting in Gaza early this year. The motion, drafted by Arab countries, raised the possibility of Security Council action if the sides do not comply.
The 192-member world body approved the resolution by a vote of 114-18, with 44 abstentions and 16 countries not voting.
Israel launched its offensive against Gaza's militant Hamas rulers in an attempt to halt years of rocket fire at Israeli towns. The fighting killed 13 Israelis and nearly 1,400 Palestinians, many of them civilians.
Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that many Western nations opposed the motion or abstained, saying those results "demonstrate clearly that the resolution does not have the support of the moral majority" of the world body.
The statement said the motion was "detached from realities on the ground" and that during the fighting, Israel's army "demonstrated higher military and moral standards than each and every one of this resolution's instigators."
The United States, which voted against the resolution, called it "unbalanced and biased" and warned that it will hurt prospects for achieving Mideast peace.
The resolution endorses a report by an expert panel chaired by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The report concluded that both Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the Gaza war.
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